Tuesday, December 09, 2008

'The Tales of Beedle the Bard'

by J.K. Rowling
Fiction/Fantasy, 2008
Collector's edition by Amazon, hardback, 170 p.
Offering the trademark wit and imagination familiar to Rowling's legions of readers--as well as Aesop's wisdom and the occasional darkness of the Brothers Grimm--each of these five tales reveals a lesson befitting children and parents alike: the strength gained with a trusted friendship, the redemptive power of love, and the true magic that exists in the hearts of all of us. Rowling's new introduction also comments on the personal lessons she has taken from the Tales, noting that the characters in Beedle's collection "take their fates into their own hands, rather than taking a prolonged nap or waiting for someone to return a lost shoe," and "that magic causes as much trouble as it cures."
But the true jewel of this new edition is the enlightening and comprehensive commentary (including extensive footnotes!) by Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, who brings his unique wizard's-eye perspective to the collection.
These tales were truly a joy to read! I think my favourite was ‘The Fountain of Fair Fortune’, or maybe ‘Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump’ but actually they were all imaginative and well told. I loved Dumbledore’s notes at the end of each tale giving some historical insight to when the stories were written, and his typical way of looking at things made me smile several times. Overall, it was very fun to return to the world of Harry Potter, even if it was much too short a visit.

As for the Collector’s Edition, I was quite disappointed with the poor quality of the book. The metal designs applied to the front cover were noticeably crooked and overall the materials just didn’t seem to be worth the $100 price tag, not to mention the occasional typos and smudged printing. I know the proceeds go to charity but I couldn’t justify spending that much money on something that I didn’t totally love and want to treasure. So my copy has already been sent back to Amazon for a full refund. I will buy a Standard Edition instead because the tales themselves are wonderful and I look forward to reading them again.

Author's website

My Rating: 4/5
(#53 for 2008)


  1. I just started reading this with Kiddo last night. We love it so far! I'm sure I'll have a Mom & Son Book Club post about it within the next week or so. :)

  2. I am sorry the conditon of this book was so shabby. On the other hand the stories seem wonderful and I will know to head straight to the Standart Edition :P

  3. Well that just sucks that the collector's edition was a disappointment! I almost bought it too! At least you got to see it ;) I can't wait to read this one...I have my copy waiting!

  4. Wow, that's a pity about the special edition...It's great that it's for charity of course, but still, you'd indeed think that for that price it'd be a high quality edition.

    Anyway, the main thing are the stories themselves, and I'm happy to hear they are good!

  5. That's too bad that the collectors edition wasn't worth it! At least you enjoyed the reading of it, though. I am probably very alone in not planning to read this book, but I am sure I will see a lot of great reviews of it in the coming days. :)

  6. I wondered how the special edition would be. I'm glad to hear you can return it since you're disappointed with it. I just bought the American version for around 10.00 (with my educator discount at Borders) and the Canadian version because I like to be close to the British edition. But neither were as expensive as the collector's. Anyway, it's also good to hear that you liked the stories. I enjoyed them more than I enjoyed the Harry Potter books, ironically enough.

  7. Such a shame to have a crappy Collector's Edition. I actually thought about getting one for a friend for Xmas, but I guess I will have to reconsider in lieu of a standard one.

    I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I look forward to reading the copy!

  8. Oh, that's too bad about the fancy-pants edition not living up to expectations!

    The bookstore had a huge display of these (the el cheapo edition) when I walked in tonight, and MAN I wanted one, but I've got a sneaking suspicion I'm getting a copy for Christmas, so I resisted.

  9. Oh no! I hope they're not all like that, because I'm fairly certain I'm getting one for Christmas!

  10. What a bummer about the collector's edition. It looks pretty in the picture. Glad you could return it though.

    The book sounds really cute though. I can't believe I'd not even heard of it! I'm guessing you don't have to have read the Harry Potter books to read this one right?

  11. Horrors! If you're paying that kind of money, you should get quality. I think it's best to send the book back. I've got to snatch up a copy of this one (regular edition). Everyone seems to love it.

  12. That sucks that the fancy smancy edition wasn't that great. I am actually getting it for Christmas. So I guess I'll wait and see what I think of it and decide if it's worth hanging on to, or sending back. Glad the stories are good though.

  13. I'm looking forward to reading this book! I would be mad too if the quality was that poor. I've never been one for collector's editions... I'm too hard on my books anyhow!

    I may have to go to the bookstore for this one!

  14. Heather J. - It was a lot of fun! I hope you both enjoyed it! :)

    Sylvie - The stories themselves were great!

    Chris - I am kind of glad I got to see it at least, but also that I got my refund. ;)

    Nymeth - I thought the stories were wonderful. I look forward to your review.

    Kailana - I know you're not a fan of Harry Potter. It was a fun, short book though. :)

    Bellezza - Amazon is always pretty good about refunds, and the Collector's Edition is a product like any other really. I'll be getting the UK standard edition the next time I order books.

    saveophelia - For me it wasn't worth the money but there are plenty of people who seem happy with theirs.

    Fyrefly - Something to look forward to! :)

    Michelle - From the reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, there have been complaints by other people about the quality of the book, but then others seem to be fine. Hopefully you'll get a good one!

    Iliana - You definitely wouldn't have to have read the Harry Potter books to read this one. Dumbledore's notes occasionally make an allusion to something from the main story, but nothing major. Have you seen the films?

    Nancy - I debated for a couple of days but thinking of all the books I could buy with that money instead, well... I think I made the right choice! :P

    Kris - I know I'm not alone because there have been others complaining about the quality. Hopefully you'll get a good one, but at least it's possible to return it if you're not happy with it.

    Kim L - I don't usually bother with collector's editions either but thought this one sounded fun. Oh well, at least I got to see it. Enjoy the stories! :)

  15. I really must get a copy of this book to add to my HP collection (although I think I'll skipthe collector's edition)!

  16. Stephanie - Definitely recommended for any HP fans! :)

  17. It's great to know it's a good read...I hadn't even thought of picking it up for some reason!

  18. Janet - Well you have had a lot going on lately. It's a very fun read though.


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